Monday, October 27, 2008

Quick label dimensions

Last week, my wife asked me to layout some return address labels for the non-profit she works for. My first thought was to use the "labels" feature of Microsoft Word, which works pretty slick. But she wanted a logo on the label and I dreaded making Word stand on its ear to size the logo accurately within the tight constraints of a tiny label. This sort of thing is a piece of cake for InDesign. But I didn't have a template for the address labels handy, nor did I even have a sheet of the labels in my possession to measure. All I knew was that I was to layout a sheet of Avery 5160 labels, and email her a PDF to print in quantity on her office printer.

I discovered that Word 2007 (Windows) and Word 2008 (Macintosh) has a nice feature where it will tell you the exact dimensions, margins, gutter, etc. for almost any type of label from about a dozen label manufacturers. Armed with this information, its easy to use InDesign's Edit > Step and Repeat command to create the label layout.

In Word 2008 for the Mac, choose Tools > Labels, click on the Options button, choose a vendor in the drop down list next to Label products as well as a Product number, and then click the Details button. In Word 2007 for Windows, choose Mailings > Labels, click on the Options button, choose a Label vendor and a Product number from the drop down list, and then click the Details button. See the screen shot below for an example of the information that is displayed in Word.

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